Is This It?

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The church, where I first learned about a better life.

Have you ever asked yourself is this it?  What’s next?  Is there more?

As I was giving thanks to God this week for His many blessings upon my life, a thought hit me.  One I don’t recall having before.  For those who have never accepted Jesus as their savior, and had their sins, wrongs forgiven, then this is it!  This life is the best they will ever have.  For them, there is no hope for an even better life.

This life, with its hardships, struggles, and pain.  This life with its sickness and diseases.  With its final blow, death!

But we don’t have to settle for just this life.  We can choose to have the hope of a better life.  A life with no hurt, sickness, and no death.  Think of it this way; if those who believe and have accepted God are wrong then we have only gotten the same as you.  This life.  But, if we are right, if our faith delivers the hope God’s word says is waiting for us then we have so much more.  So much more than just this life.  And on the way to that better life, is God.

Act 2:26-28   I’m glad from the inside out, ecstatic; I’ve pitched my tent in the land of hope. I know you’ll never dump me in Hades (Hell); I’ll never even smell the stench of death. You’ve got my feet on the life-path, with your face shining sun-joy all around. (MSG)

 Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

The Key to Your Life

KeysCurrently, I only use two keys.  It feels good.  It means I am not responsible for much.  I do not unlock a church anymore or even a desk.  So, in a way, the keys on your key ring tell others about you, about your life.

Most will have a house key, but you could also have a key to a cabin.  A car key, or two.  A key to your company’s building, company’s vehicle, your office door, or just your desk.  You could have a boat key.  One for your gym locker, gun locker, school locker, or even a foot locker.  But what if your key ring had one to your lover’s apartment, or to a lock box that no one else knew about?  Are there secrets to your life that require a hidden key?

Jesus knows about every key you poses.  Hidden or otherwise.  Jesus has keys too.  Rev 1:18   “I’m Alive. I died, but I came to life, and my life is now forever. See these keys in my hand? They open and lock Death’s doors, they open and lock Hell’s gates.” (MSG)  The only key that really matters in this life is the one that unlocks your heart.  Who, or what, have you given that key to?  I hope you have given it to Jesus.  Doing so, says you trust him with everything that is important to you.  Everything you value, even your very life.

 

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

Would You?

Dying for someone elseHow far would you go for someone else?  Would you take a bullet for someone, like the secret service men who protect our president?  Would you volunteer to be put to death so someone else could live?  The answer to these questions probably matter on who the one escaping death is, and how much they mean to you.

What if the one going to die was your spouse, parent, or your child?  Would you die for them?  What if it was more than just dying?  What if you were asked to die and then to spend eternity in hell on behalf of the one you choose to take their place of?  Would you do that?  Knowing hell is a place of utter darkness where individuals are tormented constantly.  That makes the decision a lot harder.

I had a situation this past week come up where some people close to me hurt me very bad.  First I had to use a lot of “Satan Spray” (see last week’s post) and then I started earnestly praying for those individuals.  I prayed they would come back to living a life pleasing to God and not the devil.  Then I had the thought, if they don’t change their lifestyles they could very well wind up in hell!  I wasn’t judging them, I was only comparing their lives to the word of God.  I began to pray for them even harder, and a new thought hit me.  I said, “God, I don’t want to see them die and go to hell.  I love them so much.  Could I take their place?”  Now tears flowing.  I know I can’t take their place, because everyone will be judged on their own.

Then I was reminded, this is exactly what Jesus did.  He loves us so much he told his Father he would die for us and go to hell on our behalf.  So that those who choose to believe in him and ask him to be their Lord would be saved from eternal death.  The difference is Jesus had the power to break through the utter darkness.  His light overcame Satan, and now there was a way for those who believe and accept him to live.  WOW!  What love!

Joh 3:16  “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. (MSG)

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Your Permanent Record

permanent-record“This is going on your ‘Permanent Record’ young man!”  Remember hearing that in school?  Has anyone ever seen their “Permanent Record”?  I haven’t.  Was that a threat to get us to have better behavior and grades?  Perhaps.

God sees and hears everything we say and do.  He also knows the attitude of our hearts when our behavior is on display.  Now if anyone was going to keep a permanent record it would be Him, and in fact He does.  There will be a day when EVERYONE will stand before God, and give an account for how they lived their life, attitudes, words toward others and everything.

At the end of that time before God He will simply look in a big book (The Book of Life) and see if your name has been “blotted” out, or if it still remains.  If your name remains that means you had accepted God’s son Jesus, and his death on the cross paid for all of your wrong doing.

Rev 20:11-15   I saw a Great White Throne and the One Enthroned. Nothing could stand before or against the Presence, nothing in Heaven, nothing on earth.  And then I saw all the dead, great and small, standing there–before the Throne! And books were opened. Then another book was opened: the Book of Life. The dead were judged by what was written in the books, by the way they had lived.  Sea released its dead, Death and Hell turned in their dead. Each man and woman was judged by the way he or she had lived.  Then Death and Hell were hurled into Lake Fire. This is the second death–Lake Fire.  Anyone whose name was not found inscribed in the Book of Life was hurled into Lake Fire. (MSG)

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Regret?

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(Photo by Cathy Wang)

“Would’ve, could’ve, should’ve.”  We’ve all heard the phrase before.  I feel that phrase mostly applies to relationships.  Today I was thinking about some of the closer ones I have had over the years.  I know, and understand it takes two to get it right, but the one thing I have regretted over and over is when my response to the other person was less than perfect.

That lack of responding in the right, or best way has caused a lot of hurt, pain, and disappointment in some of these relationships.  The moment I realize I have wounded the other person is when regret starts to set in.

In some cases there has been a huge price to pay for not responding correctly.  Being very open and honest it would be easier if the other person passed on, but when they don’t you are forced to deal with the reality they don’t want to speak, or see you again, ever!  This is what can happen when one chooses not to forgive you.  We shouldn’t let regrets weigh us down, but rather learn from them and hope the next time we respond better.

I am so glad Jesus forgives us when our responses are less than perfect.  To me, “hell” would be the reality that God turned His back on me, and never wanted to see, or hear from me again, ever!

Copyright © 2016 Mark Brady, All rights reserved